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Surprising Science

Justin Frankel on Llamas

Justin Frankel, the software developer behind Winamp and Gnutella, stopped by Big Think today for an interview. In advance of the interview, we solicited questions on Reddit, and one of the highest rated questions was: “What does he have against llamas?”

Turns out that in the original version of Winamp, the sample mp3 file that came on if you didn’t have any music in the player said: “Winamp, it really whips the llama’s ass.” Frankel explained the origin of the phrase during his interview today. Turns out the line came through the transom in an email to the Winamp creators, and it’s a statement inspired by the musician and comedian Wesley Willis. Frankel said he thought the phrase symbolized what Winamp was all about. When we asked him what Winamp was all about, he said, “I don’t know. Llamas are cute.”

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